Her Home is Ottawa Street

Artist Juliana LaChances’ Special Connection with Crown Point

3 min read

Blue waters, day or night skies, animals and plants; these elements are often seen within artist Juliana LaChances’ dream-like murals throughout Crown Point. The calmness and openness Juliana creates through nature and symbolism is how she engages people’s imagination in her old neighbourhood.

Juliana grew up on Ottawa Street. She frequented the old YWCA, across from the first Tim Horton’s restaurant, several times a week when she was young.

She studied visual art in Hamilton and as an artist, her focus is on multimedia acrylic painting and large-scale murals. She started her mural paintings in 2016 and Crown Point was her earliest work. “It felt like home to me growing up in the East End”, Juliana said to The Point in an interview.

Juliana’s influences include Art Nouveau, psychedelia, and meditation and intuition. Her artistic goal is to create beauty in the world and help highlight what is possible. From Soul Water and Lazio Pizza-Wings on Barton East, Simply Zen and Skizzers Hair Design on Ottawa Street, to Rankin’s Grill and Determination Martial Art on Main Street close to Kenilworth Avenue. Juliana designed six murals to complement each of the businesses while staying true to her artistic vision. She wanted to give people art to look at while they walked through the streets to balance the constant bombardment of advertisements.

Among the series of six portal murals, the piece on the south wall of Skizzers Hair Design, completed in 2017, is Juliana’s favourite. It is also the largest mural she has ever done. In 2018, she received a Hamilton Enrichment Grant to cover some of the costs of painting murals. Rankin’s Grill, Soul Water, and Simply Zen were created in that same year.

Whenever she does the live painting in the street, “people really are curious about what the final mural will look like”, Juliana said, “and when you spend a couple of days in the same spot,  you begin to experience the community that surrounds the area in which you are painting. You discover the unique culture of the communities you are creating art for.”

Photos by Peggy Goddard

Juliana LaChance is multi-talented. She is also a musician and she writes children stories, too. These days she still visits Ottawa Street, and she likes the spirit of other newer murals in this neighbourhood. Seeing the changes in this area, she hopes that the rent remains affordable for the artists and people in the community that make this city great.

(see also the article titled Crown Murals by author Peggy Goodard, for more on murals within Crown Point and their talented creators)

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